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Last week, we looked at Kingston’s affordable solid state drive offering. While it was completely adequate, the average-ish performance would probably put off enthusiasts.

This week, we’ll be looking at another SSD albeit from a company which focuses on performance. The OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 120GB offers excellent performance and modest storage at an average price — making it one of the most desirable SSDs available. We’ll be giving this one away. Read on for more info.

Smacked (just about) right in the middle of OCZ’s product lineup, the Vertex 2 SSD doesn’t scrimp on features. It features a sleek 2.5″ design that’s only slightly thicker than the Kingston SSDNow V+ drive. It also uses MLC NAND flash memory, has native TRIM support, sports a 2,000,000 hours life expectancy and here’s the kicker — it is able operate at 50,000 IOPS, thanks to its Sandforce controller.

The OCZ Vertex 2 offers drives in several capacities. They also differ in performance — their 40GB model sports a max read/write speed of 280/270 MB/s; the drives between 50 and 240GB have slightly increased performance at read/write speeds of 285/275 MB/s; and larger capacity drives have considerable poorer (albeit still pretty good) speeds at 250MB/s and 240 MB/s for read and write respectively.

Fortunately, the unit that I’m testing is 120GB, which falls in the “superb performance” range. Luckily, it’s also the most affordable — priced at $224 after rebate at, it comes up to only $1.86 per gigabyte. So if you’re looking to buy your first SSD, this 120GB model provides you with a reasonable amount of space for your operating system and storage at a very, very fair price.

Unfortunately, none of OCZ drives come with an upgrade kit — which means that if you need to transfer data over from your old drive to the new one, you’ll have to fork out more money for an enclosure. It’s not really expensive but rather unpleasant.


And since the OCZ Vertex 2 SSD rides solo, the packaging is pretty small.

On the inside, you get an anti-static bag packed with the SSD, a sticker that says, “My SSD is faster than your HDD”, and a 3.5″ mounting bracket

The OCZ Vertex 2 SSD has a very squarish, box-ish look. And although it’s only 9.3mm tall, I had a bit of trouble getting it into the MacBook’s drive bay.

Performance-wise, the SSD scored much better than the Kingston SSDNow V+ did. It managed to reach an average read speed of 259 MB/s and write speed of 236 MB/s with DiskTester. That’s not very far off from the manufacturer’s claim of 285/275 MB/s for read and write speeds respectively. Already, things were going very well.

Here’s the thing though, when working with real-world situations, the drive’s speed difference wasn’t really noticeable. On paper, it may look more desirable but under normal computing activities, it feels pretty much the same as the Kingston.

The one thing that pulls the OCZ Vertex 2 SSD ahead is its low power consumption Sandforce controller. OCZ claims that the drive only uses 2W when in operation — that’s half of the power drawn by the Kingston SSDNow V+ drive.

If you’re the sort of person who wants a great performing SSD but refuse to pay a lot for it, the OCZ Vertex 2 comes highly recommended.

The good: superb performance, long life expectancy, low price.

The bad: slightly thicker than other SSDs, no upgrade kit.

We’re giving away this review unit to one very lucky MakeUseOf reader!

How do I win it?

It’s simple, just follow the instructions.

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This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, December 3rd at 2100hrs PST. The winner will be selected at random and announced via email.

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MakeUseOf would like to thank OCZ Technology for their generosity while participating in this giveaway. Interesting in sponsoring? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us via email.

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